First Air Corps Rocket Makes Takeof


First Air Corps Rocket Makes Takeoff

On Aug. 12, 1941, the first Air Corps rocket-assist takeoff was made by a Wright Field test pilot, Capt. Homer Boushey, using a small civilian-type Ercoupe airplane. Subsequent refinements of this technique were made for assisting heavily-loaded airplanes in taking off from limited space.

This technique is still used whenever needed. Takeoff of Ercoupe airplane in much less than normal distance due to firing of rockets attached under its wing. For comparison, the light plane in the foreground although equipped with an engine of approximately the same horsepower as the Ercoupe, had just lifted off the ground at the instant the photo was taken.

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